Page 3I. Introduction 3
As I have said before, the Extraordinary Review process is inherently flawed (see Appendix 5)). In this case, all three of the tenure track faculty who signed the letter calling for this review are members of this committee. Furthermore, it is safe to say that in all probability some of these three played a major role in writing this bias, distorted and misleading document The Extraordinary Review Committee Report (ERCR). It does not take a very intelligent person to see that there is a conflict of interest, a structural problem, operative in this process. The way this process is set up and the results it has generated, makes a mockery of all our ethical imperatives.
This document, as it currently stands, the work of months of intensive labor and inquiry, lacks integrity and credibility. It seems more the work of professional tricksters or sophistical [sic] thinkers, rather than professional educators and would be researchers and scholars. As flawed and deceptive as I think this document is, I am certain it would have been worst if not for the work of Dr. Linda Walker and Dr. Kwame Nantambu the only consistent and irre- pressible voices committed to truth, justice, fidelity to both the rules of ethics and the impera- tives of professionalism and the requirements of CAS's Department Chairperson Review Pro- cedure (Appendix 9)). Because of the work of Walker and Nantambu, Item #13 of Appendix 9) has been merely wounded severely, rather than destroyed altogether.
Included within this response to the ERCR are Appendices 1), 2) and 3). These are a video tape and two audio tapes, that will help the reader/investigator understand the primary forces responsible for this two year, unrelenting attack on my work, character, leadership role on this campus and authority as the Head administrator of this Department. These tapes will also demonstrate how shamefully and disgracefully some of the faculty currently employed and retired manipulated and incited students to get involved in matters that were and are beyond the scope of their area of responsibilities. These tapes will further illustrate how faculty currently employed and retired abandoned the sacred trust imposed on all of us who would call themselves teachers and elders, and engaged in activities guided by the principle of "the ends justify the means," designed to bring about an old fashion coup-de-tat [sic]. There has been constant interference by the previous Chair a man who retired from the position, but refused to give it up. For detailed documentation of this see: 1) Appendix III of the Self- Study; and 2) Appendices 1), 2) and 3).
I have endured this premeditated, calculated, uncivil and inhumane assault over the last two years, while quite to my own surprise growing stronger psychologically and spiritually, for several reasons:
1. The charges and assertions against me and my administration of DPAS are False, issuing from the minds of people with personal agendas and ambitions that have nothing to do with the legitimate academic process and what is in the best interest of the Department and students;
2. Not to stand against these malevolent forces would injure and stain not only DPAS an instance of a much larger phenomenon that has been unfolding in Higher Education in general, for over three decades but both KSU and the sacred struggle for social change in this nation; and
3. Most importantly, some one, at some time, had to take this public punishment so that no one else would ever be subjected to this very hurtful and demeaning experience, again.
This University must never allow anyone it hires to be harassed and abused in this fashion again. Excepting the few who stood tall, the Pan African Community must never sit by quietly, while members in our group old and young renounce and trample over the core princi- ples and values that define who we are culturally and ethnically, thereby undermining the high- est standards bequeathed to us by our ancestors and their sacred legacy.
II. Failure to Prove the Original Allegations
See Appendix 1 of the ERCR for the original allegations against the Chair, and the call for an Extraordinary Review. The faculty, through the Survey, has demonstrated overall support for the Chair. Consider the following data, taken from the Faculty Survey, where 8 individuals responded.
Theme I: Management-Administration
Theme III: VisionStrategic Direction
Total Possible Responses 80
Even with the attempted distortions in this document, the data do not support the aim of those who are opposed to the Chair. What the data clearly shows is that 8 faculty persons had 80 opportunities to register and unfavorable vote against the Chair, but in reality cast a negative vote only 37 times. Hence, despite the bias and negative atmosphere within which this survey was conducted, there is a clear and unmistakable level of support for, and confidence in the performance of the Chair.
Moreover, the letters that were sent to the ERC demonstrate and overwhelming level of sup- port and endorsement for the performance of the Chair. There appear to be 36 individuals who submitted statements. Eight (8) were negative; 25 positive (15 individual letters and one other with 10 signatures of faculty supporters); 2 letters indicated surprise at being asked by the committee to evaluate the Chair's performance, indicating no knowledge of this, and declining to comment; and one other individual declined to commit his opinion in writing. Positive responses out numbered negative responses, three-to-one. Furthermore, the list of individuals who were willing to support the Chair is representative of a broad section, and very impressive group of University Citizens at all levels.
Of the two individuals who declined to comment, one wrote: "I am unable to assist you in your evaluation of Dr. Garrison. I do not know Dr. Garrison nor do I know anything about his performance as Chairman of the Department of Pan-African Studies." The other respondent wrote: "Frankly, I am confused by your letter. I am not sure what you expect. I have not observed Dr. Garrison's performance, nor did your letter explain a relevant context for a judg- ment (sic) from me." Whoever requested Jack Gargan to send letters to these individuals, knew that they have not been in any position to evaluate my performance. In utter disregard for the requirement of item #13 in Appendix 9), it appears that the net was cast wide in despera- tion for any opinion that might prove to be negative, irrespective of its lack of veracity.
Immediately, there are two major problems with the data collected from the Faculty Surveys, and the way they have been presented in the ERCR: a) there is the problem of perceptions vs. the facts, i.e., illusions/delusions vs. reality; and b) there is the problem of arbitrary and capri- cious use of the data for purposes of misleading and misrepresentations.
The presentation of data in general, collected by the ERC, both from the faculty surveys and student evaluations, ignores the real world facts about these matters. Relative to the effective- ness of the Chair, there is a general tendency to play down all the positive changes that have taken place over the last three years, which have required well developed skills and a great degree of experience in order to work with such disparate groups as Department faculty, Uni- versity administrators, students and colleagues across campus. Relative to student course evaluations, presentation of the data: ignores the negative influence of some Department facul- ty on students in my classes; fails to mention that the Chair has many years of teaching experience; does not address the record of research and publication that informs the teaching in these areas; etc.
Some Department members do not seem to grasp the very concept of "shared governance," and appear not to understand what "advisory" means. Neither the Executive Cabinet, nor the Council of Deans, nor the Faculty Senate runs the University by committee. They are advisory to the President, with certain areas of responsibility. Neither the College Advisory Committee, nor the Council of Chairs runs the College by committee. They are advisory to the Dean, who is the chief administrator of that unit. Likewise, neither the Faculty Advisory Committee, nor the Curriculum Committee, nor sub-unit Directors, run the Department by committee. They also are advisory to the Chair, who is the chief administrator of that unit. Shared governance does not mean that individuals or groups, other than the appointed administrative Heads, are in charge of the units, or carry veto power. Rather, it means, in my understanding of this matter that those administrators, who represent the legitimate authority in the unit, should and must, honestly consider the opinions of those who work in the unit. It is understood that there occurs, some time, honest disagreement. The concept of shared governance does not provide justification for faculty to act in such a way as to undermine the authority of the Chair, when the latter decides to proceed on his/her own judgement [sic], vis-a-vis honest disagreement.
Let me proceed to some of the distortions and misrepresentations found throughout the ERCR. Time and space will not allow me to treat them all. What follows is a representative sample of some of the problem areas of this report.
Page 10 "There
was no such documentation of positive support from students."
role, significant role, in the leadership of Pan-African people and whoever does not . . . have the ability to do that can not succeed as the Chair. I strongly believe that George cannot and will not be able to pull the community together and therefore cannot be successful."'
Response Members of the ERC know that the Executive Committee of PAFSA actually failed in what it was attempting to do, viz., get a vote of no-confidence from the general mem- bership. This committee abrogated its duty and responsibility of neutrality, given the fact that there was a process underway, governed by both the Collective Bargaining Agreement and the University policy and procedures, to decide this matter, when it took a position against the Chair, drafted a statement calling for the resignation of the Chair, presented it to the general body during an emergency meeting, and expected to put it to a vote. When the very spirited meeting, which demonstrated quite clearly that there were some strong voices that objected to what the PAFSA Executive Committee was doing, ended without the support from the general membership that was expected, this renegade committee committed the unconscion- able, by moving ahead with a statement that did not express the will of the people.
Inclusion of the statement referenced above, from p. 12 of the report, is an instance of the unreliability of this document, and evidence that this report lacks integrity and credibility.
Page 12 "As indicated, Dr. Garrison's presentation was perceived as a way to 'build a bridge between Residence Services and Pan-African Studies.'"
Response This statement and its inclusion in this report is both a distortion of the facts and a misrepresentation of purpose. That was not the purpose of my presentation. This workshop followed a suggestion I had made earlier, in order to address racial incidents that were victim- izing Black students in the dorms, especially Engelman Hall (see Appendices 6, 7 and 8). My suggestion to the Director of Residence Services, and the Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Life, was that RA's, since they were on the front line, so to speak, and the first to have knowledge and awareness of these problems, that they be put through sensitivity training. The purpose of my presentation was to act on behalf of the victims of those racist acts, and the climate that allowed them to happen first, and to help the University set up the proper safeguards to ensure that Black students do not have to continue to confront this malignant phenomenon in the future.
Both the person who wrote this statement and those members of the ERC who included it in this report fail to understand that those who engage in the eradication of deeply entrenched racism, are not going to be liked or agreed with by everyone. Those members of the ERC who have attempted to cast me in a negative light for trying to improve the climate for Black stu- dents on this campus, obviously do not understand and appreciate the dialectic of "thesis," "antithesis," and "synthesis."
Page 13 "The relationship between the three major divisions, in my estimation of the Chair's view of things, is that they are sub-divisions under the department because of his administrative approach to this. Our understanding has always been that they were coexistent operations of equal strength to a greater degree. . . ."
Response This is one of the most disingenuous statements of this whole report. The per- son making this statement, those who included it, and DPAS faculty on the ERC who remained silent without objection to such a statement being included are engaged in hypo- crisy. None of the members of the ERC, who were on the faculty during the administration of the previous Chair can truthfully say or infer that he allowed any such interpretation of there being co-equality between the two sub-units (CPAC and IAAA) and DPAS. The Directors of those two sub-units reported to him; the sub-units themselves, were subordinate elements within DPAS; and he was certainly the ultimate administrative authority over them all, as he so frequently demonstrated in decisions about the budget, programmatic direction, tenure, promotion, reappointment, etc.
The inclusion of misleading statements like this, in an important document of this nature, is part of an on-going attempt by some to take advantage of the confusion that has been created, and the retirement of the previous Chair an individuals who, in the minds of many personified a strong and irrepressible personality, who ran DPAS with an "iron hand" to split off the sub-units and establish their autonomy. This is reactionary, counter-productive and the advancement of personal agendas that has nothing to do with what is in the best interest of this Department.
Page 15 ". . . Others pointed out that he allows incompetent people to teach courses in the curriculum which threaten the Department's integrity.''
Response This statement is utterly absurd a wild, irresponsible and unsubstantiated allegation. My simple response to that falsehood is Who? Where? and When?
Page 15 ". . . He has provided no model for either undergraduate or the proposed grad- uate studies curriculum, nor has he clearly presented an outline of programs to include the recruitment and retention of Black students within the Department. . . . He does not include his faculty . . . he moves quickly on actions single-handed as in the preparation of the Niche Report, Annual Reports, etc., and most recently, changes in the curriculum."
Response The inclusion of this statement demonstrates the length to which some mem- bers of the ERC will go, in an attempt to malign my administration of this Department. The review and revision of the curriculum should be the work of the Department Curriculum Com- mittee. This committee should make a recommendation to the Chair, after which he would add his input and pass it on up the line to the appropriate College and University committees as a DPAS proposal. Furthermore, a sub-committee within the Department was established to draw up a plan for the graduate program. This was done because of opposition to the fact that the Chair was generating such a plan, and
some faculty members thought the faculty should do the initial work. This subcommittee has yet to return a recommendation.
Many faculty and administrators around this University know that the Chair of DPAS has been a consistently strong advocate for the new Diversity Requirement. Despite the fact that the Chair explained to the entire faculty that it is important and to our best interest, for DPAS to take the lead in proposing courses for the new Diversity Curriculum, the Chair of the Curricu- lum Committee a matter of public record and others, opposed this effort, and delayed this process, such that it required a special meeting of the CAS Curriculum Committee, in order for this proposal to be evaluated. It is taking politics to [sic] far, when the actions of faculty begin to impede and harm the growth and development of the Department. Opposition to advancing DPAS courses for consideration for the Diversity Curriculum was illogical and counter-productive. Experience shows that these courses will lead to: a) increased enrollment; b) increased opportunities to recruit majors and minors; c) greater intellectual and socio-cul- tural development in the student; d) an enrichment of the LER curriculum; and e) greater facili- tation of the University achieving its instructional mission.
Regarding the periodic and occasional reports required of the Department, the Chair finds him- self often times confronted with the situation where faculty do not respond and provide their input in a timely fashion. Since most of these reports have deadlines, it sometimes becomes necessary for the Chair to prepare the reports himself. In the absence of this, unfortunately, many of the reports would not get done, if the Chair waited on faculty. As always, the Chair invites and encourages constructive input in a timely fashion.
The inclusion of statements like the one referenced above, appears to be designed to mislead those not close to the operations of this Department. Disinformation of this sort, leaves this report devoid of integrity and credibility.
Page 17 ". . . The Chair has set short term and long term goals for the Department, these are not indicated in his Self Study. . . ."
Response This statement is both dishonest and disingenuous. My Self-Study includes the narrative and the appendices. Included in the appendices are copies of the Annual Reports. The goals and objectives of the Department are laid out in great detail there.
Page 18 The entire page is punctuated with negative commentary.
Response The refutation of nearly all of the negative commentary on this page, can be found in the narrative and appendices of the Chair's Self Study, which, as mentioned above, include the Annual Reports and the Niche Report. It would be impossible to write those with- out a thorough knowledge of the operations, needs, challenges and goals of each sub-unit, as well as the Department as a whole. To the contrary of what the reader is being lead to believe by this report, those documents are replete with requests
specifically tailored to the needs of CPAC and IAAA, an individual faculty members. The Chair, before he took this job, and since, has spent many hours talking with individuals in the Department about their concerns, and reading the documents in the files that reflect the his- tory of this unit. The Chair listens well, remembers, is a careful thinker, and is decisive in action. Even when members of the Department have been uncooperative and acting in an obstructionist manner, the Chair always act in the best interest of the Department, and that means promoting and advancing the interests of the sub-units, despite whatever difficulties may exist.
Hence, an objective reading of the documents mentioned above will reveal a comprehensive and thorough approach to advocacy for, and promotion of, the Department, consistency in the basic philosophy of the Department, and continuity with past trends and accomplishments. Moreover, these documents reveal new analyses, and an appreciation and understanding of the new challenges that this unit faces, as we all move into the next century. A careful reading of these reports will also disclose that the Chair has a vision that is both relevant and imperative for the demands and opportunities of the future.
The Chair is interested in growth and development that are progressive in nature, and that can propel this Department to the next level. What appears to have been missed or possibly ignored by members of the ERC, is the administrative skills of the Chair, developed over 28 years in very diverse situations: a) Naval Officer (1970-73); Assistant Director and Program Coordinator of the African American Cultural Center (1973-76); Chair, Black Studies Depart- ment, University of Nebraska at Omaha (1987-95); and Chair, DPAS, KSU (1995-Present). Moreover, what this reveals is the experience that the Chair has in working with diverse groups, in very different situations and under very challenging conditions. The Chair has a deep understanding and appreciation for the role and purpose of a cultural center. Further- more, there is no comparison of the complexity of the operation of DPAS, relative to that found in the Communication Department of an Aircraft Carrier, where the Chair was the Administra- tive Assistant, and one of several Communication Officers.
Additionally, a careful reading of the Chair's vita will reveal a strong advocate and champion of students both in the public school system (K-12) and in Higher Education. Any report that omits all of this is biased beyond acceptability
Turning to another issue, there is a glaring omission in the ERCR, and the silence of this re- port relative to this issue is deafening. Appendix III of the Chair's Self Study has not been addressed at all in this report. This part of the Self-Study documents an unrelenting attack on the Chair personally and professionally, using extremely unethical and uncivil tactics, designed to create a climate of hostility and potential criminality, with the complicity of some faculty and the previous Chair, and their manipulation of some students. There can be no justi- fication for these kinds of tactics, and no place for them in a University setting. This reflects behavior and conduct more often found among the lowest elements of our society. This kind of ad hominem campaign discredits all who fail to take a stand against such.
Recommendations that are reasonable, rational, realizable and in the best interest of the Department, will be embraced fully by the Chair. The progress of this Department should be the business of all that are attached to this unit. However, the faculty must pull itself out of its state of denial, and come to understand and appreciate the ways in which it needs to change and grow. This is a new era with new challenges that requires new ideas and different strate- gies.
The report of the ERC and this response to it, demonstrate the following:
1. The initial charges emanating from Appendix I of the ERC Report have not been substan- tiated;
2. The faculty survey actually reveals a greater level of support than unfavorableness;
3. There is broad base support for the Chair at various levels of the University community;
4. The Department is in a growth mode, and is making significant progress under the leader- ship of the current Chair;
5. The current Chair has generated, through his work, an increased level of respect for the Department;
6. The current Chair is a strong advocate for DPAS, and is effective in his administrative role;
7. Despite the confusion of a hand full of misguided students, the Chair has consistently been a firm advocate for Black Students on this campus;
8. The ERC Report is unreliable and useless as a tool in
the assessment of the performance of the Chair.
/s/ G. R. Garrison
George R. Garrison, Ph.D.
1. Video Tape: "BUS's Rally on KSU's Plaza, November, 1998"
2. Audio Tape 1: "BUS's Mass Meeting, ORH"
3. Audio Tape 2: "PAFSA's Meeting, ORH"
4. DKS's Article: "NAACP Opposed to BUS Actions, 12-5-97"
5. My Memo to Dean Danks, Dated 2 June 1997
6. DKS Article: "Engleman Residents Reorganize, 11-16-95"
7. My Memo to the Director of Residence Services, Dated 11-16-97
8. My Memo to the Director of Residence Services, Dated 10 April 1996
9. CAS Department Chairperson Review Procedure